ASD Youth Advisory Council

We’re inviting Autistic* youth to have their say! 

Xenia Concerts is launching the ASD Youth Advisory Council (YAC) in 2023 to connect directly with Autistic youth, identify barriers to inclusion, and co-design autism-friendly concert experiences. The goal of this project is to integrate the voices of young Autistic* music-lovers into the design and creation of Xenia Concerts’ programming, and to integrate their insights into Xenia’s artist training resources. The five-member YAC is led by a Council Chair who self-identifies as Autistic, with support from Xenia Concerts staff. Council members will work together to design two Xenia Concerts in fall/winter 2023-2024: one in Kingston and one in Toronto.

There are 3 guiding principles of this project:

  1. The opinions of young people are valuable and important
  2. Lived experience = expertise
  3. The best way to improve accessibility and inclusion is through dialogue and collaboration

Meet the Council Members

Introducing the 2023 Xenia ASD YAC! Click on any name to read their full profile.

Maddux | Chair

Jonah | Steward

Nathan | Animator/Energizer

Simon | Communications Officer

Charlie | Discord Channel Coordinator

Council meetings take place from June through October, 2023. We look forward to sharing the results of these meetings!

Project Facilitators

Rory McLeod

Rory McLeod stands in front of a grey brick wall

Rory is a musician, entrepreneur, and concert designer who takes joy in creating authentic human connections through shared musical experiences. As Executive and Artistic Director of Xenia Concerts, he works with stakeholders in the disability and neurodiversity community, presenting partners, and performing artists to co-create concert experiences that are inclusive for people who face social and systemic barriers to inclusion. Determined to widen the circle of inclusion in the performing arts, Rory is currently pursuing his Master’s in Inclusive Design at OCAD University. Rory is looking forward to working directly with young Autistic folks to help make Xenia’ Concerts more autism-friendly!

Alexandra Prefasi

Alexandra stands with her hands on her hips, smiling at the camera. She has long curly blonde hair and is wearing blue jeans and a black long-sleeved t-shirt with the face of a bulldog on it.
Alexandra believes everyone should have equal access to high quality music performances no matter their circumstances, and have the opportunity to be engaged and inspired by music! With over two-decades of experience in the non-profit sector as a Research Associate, Consultant, and the Executive Director of the Asperger’s Society of Ontario, Alexandra is looking forward to combining her advocacy experience with her deep passion for music while working directly with the Xenia ASD Youth Advisory Council to build a more inclusive musical concert culture that welcomes and celebrates differences!

Thanks to Our Supporters

This project is funded in part by Unity for Autism

Want to support the Xenia Concerts ASD YAC?

Donate Today

*A Note on Language Use

Based on feedback from individuals within the autism community, Xenia Concerts alternates between person first (i.e, person with autism) and identity-first (i.e., Autistic person) language. We continue to follow the evolution of language use within the autism, neurodiversity, and disability communities. In one-on-one interactions, we follow the preferences of the individual.